Digital Video

Facebook Live Video Experiments with Ad Breaks

By Ad Age Staff Published on .

Live video over social platforms has exploded this year, and now marketers have a way to get their messages included. Facebook has started experimenting with running mid-roll video ads inside live video broadcasts from publishing partners.

Last month, the social network introduced commercial breaks during live-streams. Facebook, in order to kickstart live streaming, pays publishers and some celebrities to post live video, a necessary strategy since there was not ad model. The mid-roll option means ads are eligible to appear five minutes into a broadcast, and they last up to 15 seconds or shorter.

Live video has become a battleground for social media platforms -- Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat -- all competing for more professional content. They are chasing TV to lure advertisers into digital video. YouTube basically invented the model of splitting ad revenue from pre- and mid-roll ads with content creators to motivate their sharing on the platform.

Facebook is still in the testing phase with the Live commercials, and it is not certain that it will develop them into a full-fledged ad product. Some media partners are finding Facebook Live to be inconsistent in terms of how many viewers they can guarantee. Some broadcasts attract millions of views while others struggle for an audience.

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